Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Christmas Stocking Stuffers

Here I'm using blank compressed-paper coasters that come in plain-Jane form, just begging to be stenciled .  They are available at AmazonSmile.com and many other online venues.  They come in assorted shapes -- square, round, flower-petal-like; and maybe more. 
I'm going to show two (one round and one square) that I've used to make stocking-stuffer Christmas gifts; I decided that they will enter their next  life as coasters, rather than refrigerator magnets, altho I had the option of veering in either direction.


Click on the above image to get a closer look.

Above are the two coasters, having just received their first red acrylic coat, inside the spray-box.  

Many artists use ready-made sprays, whereas I make most of my own, including this one, using spray bottles from beauty supply stores and filling them with a mix of roughly 2/3 water and 1/3 acrylic liquid paint, with a few drops of airbrush medium to keep the pain spray nozzle from clogging.

I sprayed the coasters twice, once from each direction, to make the tops moisture-resistant and to coat the edges, all the way around, with matching color.

After my two coasters had dried from their second spray of red acrylic paint, I placed them on newspaper and set my stencil Borders # 1 over them.  The beauty of STENCILGIRL(TM) stencils is that their translucency allows exact placement of the stencil, which becomes really important when working on an object that is coaster-size.  Having achieved the right placement, I used masking tape to secure the stencil to the coaster, and to the newspaper underneath.

Click on the above image to see a close-up.

My next step was to use a sponge-tip applicator to add green paint across the face of the coaster.


What I've learned:  For best results, use a heavy-bodied paint and start with less paint on the applicator than you think you may need.  You can always add more paint if need be.  But if you start with too much paint -- as I tend to do -- you risk it leaking under the edges of the stencil's openings, creating areas of blurred paint.  Less is more.

After removing the piece of tape opposite the stencil, I then had a hinged stencil that I could simply fold back, away from the still-wet coaster.

Below is another example, using a different area of the stencil and using the other coaster:

While the stencil was still wet with green paint, I did whatMaryBeth Shaw calls reverse-stenciling.  I call it stamping with a stencil -- but I like her term better. 

I lifted the still-wet stencil carefully away from the still-wet coaster, placed the stencil face down on the newspaper, and went over it with a hard rubber brayer.  This transferred the reverse pattern onto the newsprint. 

Later, I cut out part of that print and used it on the cover of the handmade Christmas card below:

Click the above image to enlarge it.

Above and below:  I used the same type of sponge-tip applicator to add a circle of gold metallic paint, both to the Christmas card and to the two coasters:

Click the above image to get a closer look. 

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